Angelystor is now available to stream and download at Bandcamp. This is a 39-minute piece of music inspired by Layla’s photography and recording at St. Digain’s Church, Llangernyw.
Folklore tells us that at this church every July and October 31st, the spirit Angelystor, or The Recording Angel, speaks the names of those that will shortly die in the parish. The churchyard is home to an ancient yew tree, said to be one the oldest living things in the world. It seems appropriate for an angel of death to haunt the locale of a deathless tree. Angelystor imagines a night in the churchyard, from dusk through to dawn.
The music of Angelystor is often heavy, Saturnine and melancholic – as befits the month of the recording (October) and the nature of the yew tree. The scale used in the piece was abstracted from the partials found in two utterances of a crow (a Saturnine bird) on the original field recording (more info here). It’s not all gloom, though – the more luminescent music of ‘dawn’ begins at 25 minutes, which also includes the chant adol-hrwng-fa – said by the Welsh psychic Charubel to be the invocation of the yew, and a ‘soul remedy’.
Cello was played by Briony Yorke, who also joined Layla and myself in the chanting section. I have also compiled a series of Layla’s photographs into an accompanying booket, available in the download package at Bandcamp, and also online at Issuu. It’s a long piece, and not quite in the style of XETB (hence releasing it under my own name), but I personally feel it is one of my most substantial pieces of work and hope you enjoy it. Listening on headphones is recommended, in a relaxed, receptive state… possibly in a rural churchyard at dusk.
A locative app version of Angelystor is still in preparation, but should be finished in late summer.